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June 2015 Archives

Where does Maryland rank in terms of drunk driving strictness? P.2

In our last post, we began looking at the results of a recent survey examining the way each state handles DUI offenders. The focus of the study was particularly how strict each state is with respect to criminal penalties and how proactive in preventing DUI. Here we wanted to provide some of the specific findings of the survey for Maryland.

Where does Maryland rank in terms of drunk driving strictness?

Drunk driving is a problem every state has to deal with, though states use different approaches in addressing the issue. Different states assign different criminal and administrative penalties for offenders, and use different enforcement tools. Naturally, some states take a stricter approach than others.

Mistakes of law and mistakes of fact in criminal investigations, P.2

In our last post, we began exploring the issue of mistakes of law and mistakes of fact in criminal investigations, connecting our discussion to the Freddie Gray case. As we’ve mentioned, officers were under the mistaken belief that the knife Gray had been carrying was illegal when it actually was not.

Mistakes of law and mistakes of fact in criminal investigations, P.1

One interesting aspect of the Freddie Gray case, and one which hasn’t been discussed as much as the racial and constitutional issues , is the fact that it was a supposed weapons crime that led to or largely contributed to the incident. As Baltimore readers may already know, the case involved an admittedly outdated municipal law prohibiting the possession of a switchblade.

Law enforcement and the need to balance public safety with constitutional rights, P.2

In our last post, we began speaking about an important issue in large cities across the United States: how can police balance public safety with respecting the constitutional rights of citizens? The question is a very important one for law enforcement agencies to explore and use as the basis of improvements in their approach to law enforcement, particularly in light of recent national events.

Law enforcement and the need to balance public safety with constitutional rights

It is not news to our readers that there is a significant degree of tension at present between law enforcement and the black community. Aside from the obvious racial issues, it is clear that there is a problem in many places with balancing the tension between crime prevention and respecting the constitutional rights of suspects. As a recent Wall Street Journal article points out, the tension is particularly strong in New York City, where there has been a recent increase in shootings and murders.

Work with an experienced attorney when facing marijuana charges

In our last couple posts, we’ve been discussing Governor Hogan’s decision to accommodate the requests of police unions and veto two bills that would have brought reform to certain marijuana laws and the civil assets forfeiture process. Our discussion so far has revolved around the political decision behind the veto.

Governor Hogan vetoes important criminal law reforms, P.2

In our last post, we began speaking about Governor Hogan’s recent veto of two criminal reform bills. As we mentioned, one of those bills would have extended decriminialization to both smoking marijuana in public and possessing marijuana-related paraphernalia. Hogan’s veto was based, as we said, on concern over the message the bills would send to the public, particularly with respect to marijuana-impaired driving and the ability of officers to target individuals caught smoking and driving.

Governor Hogan vetoes important criminal law reforms, P.1

Reform of criminal law is an important issue nowadays at both the state and federal level. This is particularly the case when it comes to certain drug crimes and the asset forfeiture process. Here in Maryland, legislative proposals in both of these areas have recently been vetoed by Governor Larry Hogan, and we wanted to explore this a bit.

Study confirms complexity of marijuana’s effects on body

In our last couple posts, we’ve been speaking about medical marijuana use here in Maryland and the challenges medical marijuana patients face when it comes to avoiding drugged driving charges. As we’ve pointed out, the unique properties of marijuana make it a challenge to accurately determine the extent to which a driver who has taken the drug is currently under the drug’s influence, even with the use of a marijuana breathalyzer.

Would marijuana breathalyzer technology really help marijuana consumers?

In our last post, we began discussing the issue of drugged driving in Maryland, specifically DUI based on medical marijuana use. The concern, from a defense perspective, is that those who are entitled to use marijuana for medical purposes by virtue of participation in the state-recognized medical marijuana program could be targeted for drugged driving.

Medical marijuana users face risk of drugged driving charges in Maryland

Baltimore readers know that the state of Maryland recognizes the use of marijuana for medical purposes, provided they go through the proper channels and meet state requirements for medical marijuana use. Still, those who use medical marijuana can be targeted for DUI for marijuana use.